Great design is often polarizing. When opinions about your design work seem to be either extremely positive or extremely negative then it’s likely that you’ve hit a home run.
And I can think of no other Twitter client that has received more polarized praise and criticism than Tweetbot. People seem to love it or hate it; very few are just “meh” about it.
I check Twitter on my iPhone an order of magnitude more than on my Mac and especially on my iPad. It’s no secret that I love Tweetbot. I’ve been using the iPhone app as my main Twitter client since late 2010 when the app was still in its early beta days.
Up until recently I have always used the “official” Twitter for iPad app. It always struck me as odd that an app on my iPhone (Tweetbot) could serve as a better twitter client than one on my iPad (Twitter). But now Tweetbot has an iPad version. And it rocks.
The most obvious differentiator between Tweetbot and other Twitter clients is that Tapbots-style of design. It permeates all of their apps and it is a part of their brand. But design for the sake of design is never enough.
No doubt that the vast majority of those who read this site are familiar with form-versus-function commandment: thou shall not let form trump function. The way an app works is far more important than the way an app looks.
Tweetbot is that rare bird of an app that carries an extremely strong and unique mix of both form and function.
Every single pixel is completely customized. The Tapbots color pallet of blue and black and grey with textures and gradients is prevalent throughout. So too, every sound is unique with the playful robotic sounds of clicks and swooshes.
But it doesn’t stop there. The amount of custom design in this app is only surpassed by the amount of functionality and usability tucked underneath those pixels.
Tweetbot, even with its extremely custom design, is still an app with greater function than form. Though the first thing you see is the custom designs done by Mark Jardine, and these are the pixels which are always before you when you use the app, what makes the app great is how functional it is.
Over time I’ve become so very used to Tweetbot’s functionality that it’s an app which has stuck on my iPhone’s Home screen since its beginning. And now it’s stuck on my iPad’s Home screen as well.
If you love Tweetbot on your iPhone, you’re going to love it for iPad. It carries all same power-user-friendly bells and whistles that the iPhone version has.
Here are a few of the iPad app’s features which stand out to me:
Tweetbot for iPad still treats lists as first class citizens. This is one of my favorite bits about the iPhone app and I am glad that on the iPad it is still easy to set lists as your main timeline view.
Reading articles via the in-app browser is fantastic. You get a full-screen browser along with that same awesome Readability / Instapaper mobilizer toggle that the iPhone app when in the in-app browser. Just flip the switch and you get a text-friendly layout of the site you’re on:
Tapping an Instagram or other linked image in your timeline darkens out the background and expands the image:
Composing a new tweet is a lot more spacious than the official Twitter client, and has the same quick-access buttons that Tweetbot for iPhone does:
Tweetbot for iPad is a power Twitter user’s best friend. It’s an ideal app for those who make good use of lists and who follow folks who post a lot of links to articles. You can still apply filters to mute certain users or hashtags, you can see your favorites, and retweets, and more.
I’ve been using it for the past several weeks and the more I use it the more I like it. Highly recommended.